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Man who survived a pancoast tumor.


Thanks to breakthroughs in treatment, the Pancoast tumor survival rate has been steadily improving over the last several years. What was once considered an incurable cancer is now viewed as a treatable condition – especially when it is diagnosed in the earlier stages of its progression.

For patients with early-stage, surgically-treatable cancer, the five-year survival rate is generally considered to be between 30 and 50 percent, although rates as high as 90 percent have been more reported in patient groups with very favorable characteristics. The survival rate is often highest among Pancoast tumor patients who:

• Are diagnosed before their cancer spreads to the lymph nodes or more distantly.
• Do not present with full-blown Pancoast-Tobias syndrome (a collection of symptoms that often occur with advanced stages of the cancer)
• Receive a complete resection (a surgery that removes all visible traces of the tumor)
• Receive radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination of the two before or after their surgery

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Lary Robinson.

The survival rate does drop for patients with inoperable, late-stage tumors that have invaded the lymph nodes. However, studies have found that direct spread to the subclavian vessels (arteries behind the clavicle) or the intervertebral foramen (small channels in the spine) does not necessarily make them inoperable nor will it have a negative impact on a patient’s prognosis. At Moffitt Cancer Center, we understand the value of survival rates, but we also see our patients as more than just statistics. When someone turns to us for treatment, we’ll determine which options offer the best potential chances of survival and improved quality of life – regardless of the stage of the cancer. Our oncologists specializing in lung cancer have extensive experience treating patients with a Pancoast tumor, and we have a survival rate well above the national averages. For more information about Pancoast tumors, or to make an appointment with one of our oncologists specializing in lung cancer, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete our new patient registration form. We welcome new patients and do not require a referral.